Gov geeks headed for London on Thursday 4 March and gathered for another LocalGovCamp unconference.

With so much to pack into a day we were asked to use just one word to describe why we’d come along and what we hoped to get out of the day as we did a round of introductions. My word was ‘change’.

Here’s a quick round up of the sessions I made it to:


Headed up by Peter Olding this session showed off Bournmouth’s web mapping as well as illicited plenty of discussion about GIS, open data, consistent formats, displaying cross-boundary information and including information from across public services.

There was also a good little chat about ‘the OS copyright issue’ and what impact the changes that are coming in April will have on local gov mapping.

I also talked about my dream (obsession) with mapping Derbyshire’s grit bins.

Accessibility of the social web

A good general discussion which posed the question ‘does anyone care about the accessibility of social media?’.

It’s an interesting discussion and there were lots of great suggestions for how accessibility can be improved around social media such as accessible Twitter and making sure you’re not offering something on a social media channel your’re not providing in a highly accessible format elsewhere.

I think a lot of people in the session (and following on the back channel) could benefit from the hugely useful presentation on social media vs accessibility by the much-missed Jack PIckard at PSFBuzz North East last year.

Libraries on Twitter

As I’m in the process of supporting Derbyshire Libraries as they set out on Facebook this was a really interesting session to listen in on and hear about how other libraries are using social media.

Haringey Library gave a great case study about how and why they got started, how they’ve grown and the benefits the channel is bringing to library users. They also shared some of the ideas they have for increasing their use of Twitter in the future.

Social Media and online communications for local elections

I put this session on to share how we made use of social media channels to deliver local election information and results in real-time in 2009. I’ve blogged this all before so check the archive for a summary of what we did!

Internal communications

Last session of the day in which we shared ways social media was being used internally, what problems is was addressing but also what barriers we were coming up against.

Session leader Hadley Beeman rounded up by asking us all to make a pledge about something we would have done at our own place of work by the end of the next day. My pledge? To stay motivated, keep being creative and continue to spread the word and try to enthuse those with more influence than I.

So, another great day filled with a lot of chat with hugely inspirational and enthusiastic public sector people who filled me with the need to get back to work as quick as possible and turn some ideas into a reality.

I did, however have a nagging feeling all day that me getting fired up and adding fuel to my desire to map grit bins (I’m at peace with my obsession) isn’t going to be enough. Or maybe it will be enough but this is a longer play than I initially thought. Either way I’m at a point where talk needs to become firmer, faster action if ‘change’ is to be more than the word I say in the morning.

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